November 24, 2011

Pink and Greys. A Harvest Ban On A Thursday.

In the mornings I like to wake up early and go for a walk before The Farmer heads off to work.  I don't manage this every day (because sometimes he heads out way too early, even for me and my complete inability to sleep past 6am) but I probably do 4 days a week.  Today I was out for my walk when I saw these galahs having a bit of a chat in a tree.  They very happily posed for me.

Pink and Greys In AWattle

Pink and grey galahs are everywhere at this time of year.  They eat the grain left over after harvest and along with the white cockatoos make a huge racket.

Today has been hot and blustery here.  A fire risk day.  I always feel a faint sense of unease on these days.  Like those overcast, still days at the beach where the water is oily and smooth - they are shark days to me.

Our Shire placed a harvest ban on early this morning.  For the non-farmers amongst you this means that no-one is allowed to drive any vehicle in a paddock including a ute.  It is officially called "a harvest and movement of vehicles in paddocks ban" - like I always say, we like literal labels in rural Australia!  This is to minimise the risk of a fire starting from a spark from any vehicle. We are notified of a harvest ban by an SMS service and half hourly announcements on ABC Radio. Sometimes it seems to take ages for the announcer to read out all of the Shires with bans on.  Today it sounded like the whole of wheatbelt WA was not harvesting.  Before the SMS service was widely used it was the job of many a farmer's wife (myself included) to listen to the ABC and then update everyone on the two-way.

A harvest ban is always taken incredibly seriously and all vehicles are pulled up the minute we are aware it has been put in place.  So today The Farm feels quiet, the two-way is silent and there is no activity anywhere.  In some ways it is a welcome chance to get other jobs done and give some of our staff a much needed rest. Bans are normally lifted by early evening if it cools down and the wind drops, so we will harvest again then.  Until today we have had our headers going around the clock.

I was listening to the ABC Radio today when I was picking Farmboy up from the school bus.  There is several fires in Western Australia today, one of which is an extremely large fire in the Margaret River region.  Scary.

So - what's the weather been like where you are today?  (Nothing like using an old chestnut of a conversation starter for bloggy interaction....!)


Sydney Shop Girl said...

I hope the ban gets lifted soon but 'enjoy' the change of pace as best you can.

I too listen to ABC Radio as well but its importance to me is much less than to you.

I'm hoping that all is well in Margaret River.

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

Faux Fuchsia said...

God how serious.

I've cooked shopped and cleaned today and thank God it's cooler

Enjoy my cheesecake x

Emma said...

Hello! Have missed your blog and am looking forward to a good catch up. I am absolutely fascinated by your life on the farm! Fingers crossed that you can finish the harvest safely. xx

cheryl @ nefotlak. said...

it's turned cold down here in canberra - have had to pull out the woolies once more.
nice to see you back!
hope the extreme weather subsides for you guys.
cheryl xox.

Z said...

I was listening to ABC 720 this afternoon and one caller phoned to complain about there being too much information about the MR fires being broadcast. I couldn't believe it. I don't think that some people appreciate the real life-saving service that ABC radio provides during times of crisis.

Hope all is going well for the harvest.

Joolz said...

Fire season is indeed a scary time for those living in the country. We have had a great winter season but this has left the countryside lush with tall grasses which are drying off to become fuel of bushfires.

I hope you have some cooler weather for your harvest and I pray those people in the Margaret River area get some relief too. So sad that so many houses have been lost.

Its cloudy here this morning but I think it will fine up to a top of 22C before we get some showers this arvo. Typical - shit weather for the weekend because we are going camping! Lol!

Have a good one,

Donna said...

We've just had 22mls of rain overnight with more on the way! Can't believe our harvest is turning out to be exactly the same as last year - WET!

Lisa @ Blithe Moments said...

It is cold and rainy here in Canberra. I am wearing a thermal top and we have the heating on. I wish we could send some of it your way (except you won't want the rain at harvest time).

I completely understand that sense of unease that you get on the hot, windy, fire prone days. Put a wiff of smoke in the air and I'm as twitchy as a rabbit. I think it comes from living through the terrible fires we had here in 2001 and 2003.

Fingers crossed for a cool change and a resume to harvest.

Bruce said...

Thanks for a great blog
Christmas angel decorations

Deb said...

Wet, wet, wet in Wollongong and cold. I had to break out the winter woolies last night.
I love the ABC and listen to it all the time. Hope you get your harvest finished soon:)

Mummaducka said...

I'm stuck in goondiwindi, just missed the road closures to Moree by 15 mins. Home is flooded, house is safe. 10.5 inches in 3 days. Farmers around here have the harvest ban for the opposite reason. Many hadn't even started when the rains came in. Now it will be pretty stuffed.